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How could I have not known this film existed until now?
Her-Excellency3 November 2019
What a simple, yet beautiful film. It is by all accounts, what should quantify and qualify as the real definition of a "feel good" movie.

I can only imagine that those who rated this subtle, unembellished, yet exquisitely moving film any lower than a 7, have lost the ability to be moved by anything.

As for me, I am so glad I live, love, laugh and feel.


... A definite must-watch when you want both to smile, and for your heart to ache just a little.
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The Giver
stefan-alev10 July 2015
When I saw the title I asked myself what we give. When I saw the movie I asked myself what we have given up.

The simple and clear message in the movie is what makes it interesting and good. I saw so many simple things explained in such a profound way. Things such as friendship, family, love, emotions, humanity.

After all this is a great movie that shows what humanity is all about. What emotions are, how we see the world because of them. About what is right or wrong. What we sacrifice to create one Utopia. We see in this movie the good in people, but we also can see the cruelty that we are capable of.

To be completely honest, I saw a little resemblance with another movie. Despite that, It is a movie that I wanted to watch again.
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The Giver Review
jackgradis11 August 2014
I know, I know, that score makes you want to hate on me already. First, let me say that I have read the book and really enjoyed it. It was thought provoking, emotionally engaging, and intelligent. Second, while I enjoyed the book, I am not passionate about it like some people are. So I went into the movie with a completely open mind, just wanting to experience the movie.

First, the positives. Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep are fantastic as expected. Both bring wonderful layers to their character. Also, the use of going from black and white to color was used real well to demonstrate what the characters see. The film looks good and is acted well.

Now my complaints. First of all, the setup of the supporting characters felt off to me. The society they live in have a certain set of rules that everyone follows because they were taught to their whole lives. But all the characters broke the rules multiple times in the beginning of the film. That takes you out of the overall feeling the movie is supposed to give you, the message it has to offer.

Next, while the book got you emotionally attached to Jonas and what is happening to him, the movie falls flat. Their are certain moments that have to have the audience fully involved emotionally, but just don't. That is a big negative unfortunately, because you want to care, but the film is too lazy setting you up for the emotional blow.

Finally, the pacing is way off. The middle part with Jonas coming to the realization of what is really going on, is rushed and he makes up his mind like that. That is the most important part of the movie, and sadly it is rushed. Then the movie slows down, and that leads to a VERY anti-climactic ending.

Overall, if you are a die hard fan of the book, then obviously you should see it. Who knows, I may be the only one who doesn't drink the coolade for this movie. But the tone and storytelling are to sloppy and the movie fails to get you emotionally attached. So the result is a mediocre film for me. I still recommend you see for yourself, but just ask yourself: Did I love the movie or did I want to love the movie because of the book?
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Entrusted with the memories of the past
bkoganbing12 January 2015
If you think that the world that George Orwell created in 1984 was a rigid one they were positively hedonistic compared to the society shown in The Giver. Playing the title role is Jeff Bridges who is called that because he has a very special duty to be the one entrusted with the memories of the past. The ruling body of the society has to be able to refer to the past to be guided in making decisions. But we can't have everyone knowing about lest they long for the good things of the past. It's all been abolished the good and the bad, conformity and sameness is the order of things. Color is not even allowed everyone wears drab clothing like they were in prison. The family is abolished, kids are born and then assigned to nurturers, women particularly go into that occupation and it is an occupation like being a plumber.

A new group of young people are being given new assignments and young Brendon Thwaites sits eagerly awaiting his occupation. He gets the prize as he is chosen to be the Receiver of all the past knowledge from Bridges. His training is to telepathically connect with Bridges all the experiences of the past, the good and the bad.

The use of color in film is never thought of this day, it's simply assumed that films now will be photographed that way. But The Giver takes its place along side Schindler's List and Pleasantville in using color sparingly and to make a point. Color comes into Thwaites world as it has been in Bridges' and the equation of knowledge with color is a point well made.

When Thwaites decides that there's something more out there than what he's grown up with, society shakes. None other than chief elder Meryl Streep wants measures to be taken to stop Thwaites from questioning the order of things.

Thwaits, Streep, and Bridges head a cast that tells a thought provoking tale of curiosity and rebellion and curiosity in seeking something better always proceeds rebellion. The film ends abruptly and I suspect there's some box office soundings being taken to see if a sequel is to be made. I hope one is, but if it's not The Giver can certainly stand on its own.
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I expected another teenager-y save the world movie so I sat down with low expectations. I was very surprised at how much I liked this
cosmo_tiger23 November 2014
"I know there is something more, something that has been stolen." It is choosing day and Jonas (Thwaites) is told that he is to be a receiver of memories. He meets The Giver (Bridges) and is amazed at what he shows him. Jones learns quickly that the Utopia that everyone lives in is not as perfect as it seems. After experiencing color and emotions Jonas wants to show everyone what he knows. The Elders are not happy with what is going on and they do all they can to stop Jonas, but he will stop at nothing to make everyone remember. I had no idea what to expect from this movie at all. I never read the book and only caught glimpses of trailers. I expected another teenager-y save the world movie so I sat down with pretty low expectations. I have to say that I was very surprised at how much I liked this. The easiest way to describe this is a combination of Divergent and Pleasantville. When you watch you will see exactly what I mean (as long as you have seen both of those movies). This is a great family movie and my entire family loved it. It is rated PG- 13 and I think it is because of one small part but you will not have to have your hand on the pause or fast forward button if you are watching this with your family. Overall, this is just a good movie that the whole family will enjoy. I give this a B+.
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Truly moving, I cannot believe the reviews.
jdinbox4 September 2015
If you thought this movie was worth a single star less than 10/10 or are thinking skipping a watch I urge you, please reconsider.

I know this film is based on a book, which, I am most definitely going to read because the very idea of this dystopia is so real and poetic.

Forget everything you know, Imagine you just came into a world where society pushes you to be what it wants you to be, this is what has happened to you and almost every other single human being on this planet.

This film runs a beautiful paradox of what is happening with society today, not to mention the build up between black and white picture and incredible acting is really out of this world and captivates exactly what this movie is trying to show.

Today people are going colourblind, people are at war with each other, rape each other, cold blooded murder each other, make terrible music which ruins children's lives, really, you cannot deny that we are destroying every single part that made any of us the philanthropist human beings that most once were or should be.

What this film does, is, takes you to a place where this shift in the human consciousness has ended, rather abruptly, instead of getting to the root of our problems, society in this film has removed the very branches of the tree that allow us to fail.

The detrimental effect of this shift in consciousness becomes very obvious, taking away and controlling human emotion has led to a zombie like mass population we see today, which, is mirrored in this film.

I really cannot say anymore without spoiling the film other than watch it with an open mind and heart, think of every single living being on this planet before you watch this film. Think about whats happening to society today and how close we are to becoming the society that exists within The Giver, with, an end that could be so easy as, thinking outside the box.

If you are anything of a human being and watch this film with my instructions in mind I can %110 guarantee not only your satisfaction but your every heart string pulled in directions I believe another film will struggle to ever pull in again. One of very few films next to the fault in our stars that shed tears with me.

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Don't Judge a Movie by Its Book
eaglescout9102 August 2020
One thing to consider before watching this film: Lois Lowry, the author of the book it's based off of, genuinely loves this film. In fact she feels like it is better in some ways. If she likes it that much, then it's certainly worthy of being viewed with an open mind.

If the book hadn't been written and this movie was the first time this story had been told, it would have at least a 7 or 8 star rating. People are comparing it to the book and their prior expectations too much.

Considering this adaptation of less than 2 hours is very impactful, and captures the most important aspects of the book, I think it's a great adaptation.

One thing it really takes advantage of is the visuals. The way it utilizes color, black and white, and even faded color to show the story's progression is such a clever idea.

Some say the film isn't dark enough. It's exactly what it needs to be for the story to work, especially in the way it shows how horrible things can be without emotion. Could it have been darker? Of course. Would that have made the film better? I don't think it would. This film encourages you to think and apply things to real life. No need to be shown more and more darkness when we can already envision that happening in our own real world.

Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep are fantastic in their roles and really help carry the impact of what's happening. In fact, I like the performance of all the main actors. It's challenging to portray characters who only show fleeting feelings rather than lasting emotions, but they were quite successful.

Ultimately, I consider this film to be underrated and it has not gotten the respect it deserves due to preconceived ideas from people who read the book. Movies will never capture the same magic of the book they're based off of, but this film is a great representation of the ideas and thoughts presented in the book.
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Fantastic and Faithful Adaptation
packard818 August 2014
I have seen reviews comparing the Giver (unfavorably) to other teen dystopian movies like Divergent and Hunger Games. That's actually a compliment, the Giver is not more of the same stuff, The critics seemingly can't accept that people are smart enough to get the point of Lois Lowry's book, and that people aren't smart enough to enjoy, much less understand, a character study and a societal study. Mindless action, needless violence, and transforming robots are all absent here. I have a feeling though, that people are smarter than they think. The book has been popular for at least 30 years, why would people balk at the movie adaptation? The Giver is a project that has been in the back of every movie maker's mind for years, now it's here. Go see it and judge for yourself.
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Beautiful Emotions and Decent Acting
rgkarim16 August 2014
Books are a means of allowing the imagination to unfold without a budget to hold back your creativity. Yet in Hollywood they are ultimately a means to write the next big blockbuster to draw people to the theaters. This weekend yet another adapted screenplay comes to life in the form of the Giver. Haven't heard of the book? Neither had I until about three weeks ago, so I was excited to see what this movie had in store. What were my thoughts on the film? Read on to find out.

The Giver is not the most exciting tale, merely another story about a utopia where everything is controlled and all negative aspects have been eliminated. At the beginning of the movie, the pace is a little slow, a mere introduction into the world and all its endeavors. It is not until we meet the Giver (Jeff Bridges) that things begin to pick up and thing become much more interesting. The Giver trains his protégée Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) to take on his new job as the Receiver, learning the memories of the past in order to guide the future. While not the most unique story, this tale is interesting in the way it is executed as both cinematography and acting come together to make a fantastic presentation.

We'll start with the cinematography and editing first. The black and white world hasn't been seen in a popular movie since the Artist, but this time we have sound to go along with our nostalgic filter. The lack of color sort of drains you of your emotions, which falls in line with the emotions of the town. As Jonas learns more about the past, things begin to change though and the developing team begins to subtlety introduce colors back to the film. It gradually adds excitement to the film, running parallel to the evolving story and characters within it, until the exciting, albeit downgraded, climax. Perhaps the greatest source of emotion though come from the memories that the two protagonists share. The directors selected great clips to entertain us with, starting simple at first and gradually diving deeper down the rabbit hole. Each memory brings about it a new set of feelings each further developing Jonas to make the choices he makes. Between each of these memories we have Jonas reintroduced back into the world, seeing it through different eyes as he contemplates the inner workings. Often these realizations bring back more colors, as well as further pieces of the puzzle to solve. It is balanced, and very good at teaching us lesson with the emotions that well up with each scene. Here I will warn you to exercise caution with younger minds, for some of the darker memories may be a bit too much, sad or disturbing, for smaller children to handle.

Of course the camera can only do so much, and movies require actors to assist in bringing the players to life. Bridges is my favorite of the bunch, his rugged approach to characters providing the right gruff to make anything both funny and serious at the same time. His sarcastic delivery and straight to the point approach provides both entertainment and lesson, helping to alleviate the tension that builds up in the movie. Thwaites' chemistry with him is good, the boy not only reacting to the new memories, but also trying to handle everything that comes with them. While a bit overacted at parts, Thwaites manages to pull off the role well and was quite enjoyable to watch. While these two are the bread and butter of the movie, the supporting characters have some good acting to further enhance the story. The talented Meryl Streep brings the Chief Elder to life, not necessarily evil, but with evil like qualities she used to maintain order. Streep's voice was perfect for the role of a supreme leader, and her elegant features complemented the monotone suit well. Playing kind of the second in command is Katie Holmes, whose track record has been mixed in terms of acting quality. For this reviewer, she did a great job playing the stern mother, using her stoic facial features from the past to really bring a sense of threat and discipline. Holmes has played plenty of no nonsense roles and she slips right back into the role that both annoyed and impressed me at the same time. Odeya Rush is a very cute actress, who has a great talent for line delivery, executing her lines with the right emotions with the right emphasis. She does have to work a little on her voice breaking, because some her lines sounded more like whining than acting for me. Yet she does a nice job of changing out her acting style as the characters change. Even Taylor Swift makes an appearance in this movie, though her acting hasn't greatly changed from her earlier roles.

To wrap this review up, The Giver is a thoroughly enjoyable movie by how fantastic the emotions are presented. This is a movie that does a great job at teaching lessons, and doing it without the cheesy dialog that often makes Facebook quotes. The combination of visuals and acting are some of the best I've seen in a while, and have not been overshadowed by high explosive special effects. Yet it is not the most exciting movie and has some stretches to accept in order to get the full effect. Is it worth the trip to the theatre? I would say not necessarily so, because there isn't a lot made for the big screen, though I'm not saying you are wasting your money if you do go see it. My scores for The Giver are:

Drama/Sci-Fi: 7.5 Movie Overall: 7.5
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Short movie, but simply amazing! Adds further depth and closure not given in the book.
mmweaver1330 August 2014
Everyone is judging this movie based on its accuracy to the book, which is understandable. I re-read the book 2 days ago, so it would be fresh in my head before viewing the movie for the first time. I absolutely love the book, and I had heard varying opinions about the movie (mostly negative), but I wanted to watch it with an open mind and present my own opinion. I must say: this movie is simply amazing. Firstly, the acting is top-notch: Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges were perfect of course, but Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush also brought depth to their characters. I loved seeing Taylor Swift make an appearance in the film, and she gave life to a character who was only mentioned in the book. Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgård showed flawless acting in their supporting roles as well. The movie excelled in more than just its acting. There were so many powerful "chilling" moments, particularly with the portrayal of the memories. The contrast of the sensory-rich memories of the past with the colorless and boring Utopian community is what brought real depth to the film. My favorite aspect was the slow transition from black-and-white to vivid colors. My only true complaint about the movie is that it was too short. I didn't want it to end. As far as staying true to the book, there were minor changes, such as the ages of the characters and the career assignments, but these made sense. People must understand that when a book is adapted on screen, there are certain things that must change for viewing continuity purposes. I will say that, as always, the characterization was better in the book, and I was able to form a connection with the characters quicker with a written description. The movie jumped right into the plot, which was good for the pacing of the story, but this meant it took longer to really understand the characters. Having already read the book, this was not a problem for me. The overall themes and concepts (such as sameness, colors, emotion, and love), were portrayed ingeniously throughout the movie. As much as I love the amazing use of imagery in the book, being able to actually visualize the transition from a dull community to a vivid, colorful world was breathtaking. Also, without giving spoilers, the movie gives explanations to concepts in the book, especially with the "memory boundary" that separates the society from Elsewhere. The movie doesn't stray from the book, it just provides more clarity. Finally, I loved the ending of the movie. It gives more closure, and was even more satisfying than the book was. My overall conclusion is that this movie serves as an excellent counterpart to the book. The detailed characterization of the book and the sensory stimulating scenes in the film complement each other nicely to make one cohesive, stunning, and powerful story.
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A Pleasant Watch
nicholaskhanhtran20 August 2014
I am the kind of guy who likes a movie with morals, art, music and emotion. This is that kind of movie and it was a pleasant watch.

Character & Development: The movie develops the characters well in my opinion. I like how the main character is not some celebrity hot shot that we are forced to love based on how they are in real life. Slow to start and nothing is rushed. Of course, it does not follow every detail from the book, but it draws the principles and ideals of it.

Art: the style is done very well. Plain and simplistic as most dystopian societies are portrayed. As the movie prolongs, the art in the movie expands more beautifully. Watch the movie if you want to understand what I meant by that.

Music: I enjoyed the music of this movie. Gave me chills since I love movies with great background music. Tingles everywhere.
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vibha10114 August 2014
I went into the movie with high expectations after having read the book in high school. I absolutely loved the book and always imagined it to be a certain way. While some aspects of the film met my expectations in terms of visual delivery and execution of the novel, a lot of it did not. There were many scenes that I would have loved to see but were not included.

As a film on its own, I found some of the acting to be lacking in emotions and conviction. I did enjoy Meryl Streep and the Giver, but the rest were very average. Some parts of the film felt slightly rushed, missing out on the true essence and meaning it could have conveyed. I did not feel as indulged in the film as I was in the book. Perhaps this was because I loved the book very much, but I feel it was also because the film lacked passion and depth. The overall message and meaning behind the story was not adequately conveyed as important scenes were not emphasized on and were rushed. Jonas's character development happened too quickly and we could not create a connection with any of the characters in the film.

Overall, I found the film to be average. Those that have read the book will find it to be below expectations whereas others may enjoy it for the concept and meaning it attempts to convey.
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Fitting In
billygoat107128 August 2014
The most obvious and cynical theory to come up with the existence of The Giver movie is the success of futuristic YA movies such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. Though, The Giver was never meant to be a YA book in the first place, and it's already a two decades old book that has been going through some controversies in the past. This movie is proof that Hollywood is just picking books randomly and turn them into movies to match the trend. The important question is does it stay true to what makes the story so great? Apparently not. Not because it's now starred with teenagers instead of twelve year olds, or it consists more action scenes. The film just hardly cares about the concept and gives more way to the corny clichés of the genre. The Giver does have a taste for a blockbuster, but the heart of the story is missing and that is definitely frustrating.

The film introduces the story in the most typical way possible, which has the hero doing voice-over narration for the audience. It doesn't trust the concept either, so it has to immediately push the story to the familiar elements of the genre. This is not a new case, of course. Many young-adult novels with better narrative have been manipulated by formula. But the story itself isn't about a revolution or a love story, its main center is to rediscover the old natural world, no matter how beautiful and ugly it was, and contrast it to the new rigorous society that is peaceful yet terrifyingly naive. The relationship of Jonas with the Giver and unraveling through sociopolitical conspiracies is what makes it engaging, but again the movie doesn't have the love for that. Instead it uses its length more on the visuals where the director can do what he does best, which is to pull off some set pieces and grand designs. Unfortunately those parts don't do much to the story, it's nothing more than an exposition that is meant build up a thrilling climax that isn't and never meant to be thrilling at all. And to stay faithful to the source material's larger theme, during the chase at the last act, one of the characters ends up preaching out a sheer sentimental speech to the elders that feels terribly forced.

How it created the communities looked cool though, with production and special effects that gives a spectacular sense of scale, and how the black-and-white world grow into colors is a fascinating watch, but I think those are the only things the filmmakers wanted to bring to life. Designing it as an action blockbuster doesn't necessarily sound like a bad idea, but skimming out the soul that made the story compelling is what tones everything down into another generic fantasy film. The acting is okay, as usual. Brenton Thwaites does have the looks of a hero, but he only leaves a few personality to the role, the most conspicuous one is the kid's curiosity. A more natural fit is Jeff Bridges who gives the gravity that should have been there throughout the film.

The Giver may have the external vision; the events, culture, characters, and language stayed intact; but again, everything else suffers the same problem. The rich world it already provides is no more than a cool design, while replacing the unique narrative with clichés. And it's not good at one of its clichés either, the additional more focused romantic subplot is as underdeveloped as the others out there. There just isn't much love to the subtext, the movie is basically just fitting in to the era of young adult novels with bad politics and rebellion; but again and again the story is never about them. It's neither about the love story or the teen angst. Whatever point it tries to say, it would only lie at the idea, and the movie didn't spend much time to that. There is some interesting visuals to spare, but what's left here is just another bland teen fantasy movie.
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A Good Effort!
namashi_116 November 2014
Based on the 1993 novel of same name by Lois Lowry, 'The Giver' is a well-made film, that has dazzling visuals as well as soul. The only problem in this Social/Sci-Fi film, is its slow-pace, which needed some serious persuasion!

'The Giver' Synopsis: In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world.

'The Giver' makes good use of its interesting premise, by translating it into a good effort cinematically. But, as mentioned before, the slow-paced narrative bores, at least in the first-hour. The story moves on a lazy tone & that definitely puts you off. The second-hour is engrossing & the culmination, also, is very engaging.

Michael Mitnick & Robert B. Weide's Adapted Screenplay takes its own time to catch momentum, but once it does, it arrests you with force. Phillip Noyce's Direction is fantastic. He has handled the entire film commendably. Cinematography is excellent. Editing is lazily done. Art Design & Visual Effects are flawless.

Performance-Wise: Jeff Bridges as The Giver, is restrained. Brenton Thwaites as Jonas/The Receiver, is earnest. Meryl Streep is masterful, in a negative role. Cameron Monaghan is impressive. Katie Holmes is alright.

On the whole, 'The Giver' isn't without its flaws, but it also has enough merit to earn itself a viewing.
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xanthinella17 August 2019
I want part 2!!It just changed the way i think about the thing we call life..
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not horrible, not great.
katiefanatic-791-30691812 August 2014
saw 'the giver' last night at the fathom events screening. It was my favorite book growing up when i read it in school and maybe the reason I wasn't horribly disappointed was because it didn't even look great from the previews. nonetheless, i watched the movie. having recently read the book in preparation for the movie, the first thing that stood out to me was how quickly they jumped into the memories. It takes about ten chapters of the book to get there, and the movie gets there in less than ten minutes. it cuts out all the build up of the book and depending on how you like the speed of your films, this could be good or bad. this could pinpoint to why the movie didn't completely work. the script was rushed. it is definitely a case of 'when good actors happen to bad scripts'. because of the nature of the script (or because the nature of the movie, who knows?) the actors aren't given much to work with. this may not be their fault as the whole point of the story is a dystopian society where they don't allow you emotions, but to watch actors have straight faces for 94 minutes isn't exactly a pleasant experience. it leaves you feeling meh about the whole thing as i did. shame.
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Absolutely blown away.
simplybecause2114 September 2014
The book by Lois Lowry changed my life when I was thirteen, and now the movie has. It was so stirring, so beautiful, and deserves so much more praise than it has been given. People don't care about it or the true meaning behind it because it doesn't involve sex, drugs, or gross humor like most Hollywood movies do today and that really shows the character of our generation. I was one of the few who really understood the underlying meaning and it has shaken me in ways I wish everyone can feel. It just makes me sad that some people don't have that kind of feeling or capacity, much like the people living in the communities. I hope that if you haven't seen it, you will because it captures the true meaning of love, pain, and everything life has to offer. It really, really is worth it. And it has inspired me to be better. You will be blown away. I can promise you that even if you wouldn't admit it.
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Overall Good Quality Movie
dwsrmwolf18 August 2014
Overall, The Giver was a good, quality movie. It conveyed an important message: we need the bad in order to appreciate the good. I definitely plan on buying it when it comes out on DVD.

First, what I thought wasn't great about the movie: I thought the first little bit of the movie was rushed, as well as another segment later on. I also don't feel that time was conveyed well—almost a year passes from the beginning of the movie to the end, but the movie portrays it as just a few days. As a result of the time warp, we don't properly understand how love develops between the characters. We also don't see enough of Fiona's and Asher's development—they play key parts towards the end, but their actions seem out of the blue.

Now, the good of the movie: Above all, this movie conveys what I think is a very important message about needing pain with joy. I also appreciated that they touched on the differences between simply "a family unit" and having a real family. The emphasis on love as overarching was also good and appropriate. I appreciated that the movie doesn't show details of the painful memories but still is able to convey a little of the sorrow from them.

Again, I think this is a great movie overall. And I left the theater wondering, "Will we remember? Will we remember that love is worth the price of sorrow?" I certainly hope we never forget.
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Ever seen the movie Equilibrium?
lauravankessel13 September 2014
So... first of all, I have not read the book so this is not a comparison. Not to the book at least.

But the story... It's not an original one, to be honest. And, as a movie at least, it's told and shown less alluring then the movie I know that tells a similar story; Equilibrium.

Some other reviewers also state that you don't really get emotionally connected to the characters, with which I have to agree.

All in all it's really not a bad movie and the underlying moral is beautiful! But if a movie tells a story you've heard before it's easy to compare it with each other and, in my opinion, the other told it better.

So; if you did like it or liked the story but missed the connection; Equilibrium!
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Not bad but didn't blow me away
xaniver13 January 2015
Had I known Taylor Swift was in this movie, I might have been less enthusiastic about the film, however, I can promise you that any Taylor Swiftness on posters and in promo is all a marketing ploy. She has a tiny – if important – role in the film and has very little screen time. The real star of the show is Brenton Thwaites as Jonas and he's really quite lovely in his role as the compassionate and curious Receiver.

The Giver film is competing against franchises like The Hunger Games, Divergent and even The Maze Runner. In order to give The Giver more teen appeal and to capture The Hunger Games/Divergent audience, the movie tried to be a lot that the book was not. The movie – despite being adapted from the predecessor of the modern dystopian trend – feels a little too familiar and cliché because it tries a little too hard to fit in aesthetically and tonally with the other YA adaptations. I wish the film had foregone the shiny technology additions and stuck with the utilitarian world-building of the book. I can also understand why the film producers chose to up the age of the protagonists and up the angst as well, but I'm not sure it really added all that much to the overall story except making it feel like another teen movie when it should've been so much more than that.

Where the film did excel was in the cinematography and use of black&white and color. This is described well in the book, but the visual medium of film really brought this to life. I do think they could've done even more with that, although I think they were trying to stay true to the book here. I was also hoping for more of an emotional impact from certain scenes between the Giver and the Receiver in the film. Some of those scenes in the book are brutal and really broke my heart for Jonas. It didn't have quite the same impact for me in the film – perhaps because the character was older.

The ending of the book disappointed me but the film managed to deliver a very similar ending in a way that stayed true to the book while also providing a greater sense of closure. Where I think the book meandered into allegory, the movie developed the plot and made a more compelling story overall, even if some of the 'science' of how all this was possible is dubious at best.

A major highlight from the film for me was seeing the usually uber sexy and seductive Alexander Skarsgård playing a nurturing father figure who worked in the nursery with newborns while his wife – played by the petite Katie Holmes – was involved in politics. Seeing 6'4 Eric Northman – sorry, Alex Skarsgård – so tenderly caring for tiny babies really highlighted the gender dynamics and theme of equality in the book. It was a very clever casting choice.

Overall, this movie was fine but not amazing. Given the source material and how beloved this story is I felt they could've done much more with it.
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i'm grateful for life !
zhinanazhadd13 October 2020
At first it was black and white and i was like why! but soon i got it ! wow i have always thought how would it be if the world was less messy and more organized ,now i see it and i like this whole mess! beautiful movie for those who feel down! makes me see the joy of being alive more!
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Delightful and moving.
sandilew-236-14905517 November 2019
I had no idea what to expect of this film, so I was pleasantly surprised by the story and emotionally involved long before the ending. I enjoyed it from start to finish, and I thought the conclusion was perfect.
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Differ_25 October 2019
This movie is very good, the story it's just incredible and wow... This movie really give us a message, we never should forget our past, we never should hide our feelings... I recommend this movie to everyone, it's one movie that everyone should see at least 1 time.
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The Giver Review
cierra_styles7 August 2014
I just watched an early screening of the movie The Giver today and I'd just like to say it was amazing. The transition from the book to the movie was excellent. There were several things that were added to the movie but I honestly think that they helped the people who haven't read the books understand everything a little better. I think that the movie is better than the book only because there was adventure and everything moved quicker than it did in the books. The makers of the movie did not miss out on barely anything and the things that they did they made up for with an alteration. There was humor, romance and a lot of self-discovery in the movie and I personally think the casting was pretty decent although Jonas was 12 in the books. The acting in the movie was great, I really enjoyed myself and highly recommend seeing this movie!
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One of the best movies I've seen this year!
tom9928 September 2019
I didn't know what to expect, but wow whatba movie! A true adventure
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